Elementary student achievement and teacher perception of an advanced chemistry curriculum

Daniel B. Fried, Pablo P.L. Tinio, Azuri Hughes, Diana Paneque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Studying nature from the atomic and molecular perspective gives students access to modern scientific paradigms and could improve achievement and motivation towards science learning. A visual and tactile approach to chemistry can form the foundation for a child-friendly but high-level chemistry curriculum and could be a powerful tool to invigorate early STEM learning. This five-session study utilized a previously reported organic chemistry learning program that featured animated presentations, hands-on molecular model building, and image-based computer modeling of macromolecules. Twenty-six fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students participated in the study. Importantly, teachers at the school showed a high degree of engagement and participationtowards the program, and they embedded the chemistry material in their classes and projects. This teacher involvement created synergy with the program and supports the notion that high-level chemistry content can be very beneficial to students and teachers, and can open new avenues of study, even for young students. Teacher survey results revealed that the exposure to the chemistry learning program benefitted them professionally by providing them with useful knowledge and pedagogical strategies that they could readily use to enhance their own teaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-148
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Molecular modeling
  • Organic chemistry
  • Teacher motivation


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